Koke has waved away the impending sense of doom surrounding Atletico Madrid, reminding fans that ‘life goes on’ even if star striker Antoine Griezmann leaves for Barcelona.
The saga seems to be inching towards a conclusion, with Griezmann confirming that his decision will be announced before France begin their World Cup campaign against Australia on Saturday.
Barcelona have been pursuing the 27-year-old for some time and could pounce when Griezmann’s release clause halves from €200m to €100m on the first day of July.
Koke was clear about his desire for the Frenchman to stay, but admitted that he would not be heartbroken if the Barcelona move goes ahead.
“[Griezmann] has a contract and I hope he stays with us, it’s his decision,” the midfielder told Marca on Tuesday.
“I want him to stay because of the level he is at and for everything he does for the club. He is a complete player. It’s his decision. If he stays it will be a joy. If he goes, life goes on.”
If Griezmann decides to stay at the Wanda Metropolitano against all odds, it will cap a great week for Atletico in which they also agreed a deal with Monaco for the signing of young Frenchman Thomas Lemar.
Koke also discussed the differences in style between Atletico and Spain, for whom he will play at the World Cup.
“It is easy to change from the Atletico style to that of the Spanish team,” he noted. “I know how to combine the two styles. At Atletico, we play a lot more directly.”
Spain find themselves on the brink of a crisis on the eve of the World Cup as manager Julen Lopetegui’s future is uncertain following the premature announcement of his move to Real Madrid.